Keeping Occupied in Lock-down

With the C. virus changing our life style over this past month, there has been a big increase of music videos online. Strangely enough Leila and I have not changed our lifestyle that much, the only big difference is that we do not go for long walks. We generally work from home. For me that means playing, recording, pipe making…

I have had a trapped nerve in my shoulder now for 4 weeks so my concentration has not been on the C. virus or playing, but now the pain is slowly going, I am thinking more about music and carrying on with my pipe making (even though there will be no workshop classes this year, sessions, festivals, concerts…are all being cancelled).

Yesterday I began turning wood and dusting off my bags/bellows after the winter months of being packed away. Thinking about making reeds and generally improving my design.

I made a chanter stock so I can attach a Galician chanter to my Northumbrian Small Pipes, and I will be converting mouth blown bags to bellows blown and trying out ideas on chanters.

My recordings are going well, and I am learning to play a midi controller and learning various musical software, the latest being Maschine 2, and as from yesterday I uploaded my first tutorial onto Youtube on Reaper DAW and Maschine 2. I created a new blog as I felt home recording did not fit into this blog, as it deals with Recording; if you want to have a look check out my new blog on Home Recording:

On the blog you will also find my musical experiments mixing acoustic and electronic music, and tutorial videos.

Due to my trapped nerve in my shoulder, I had to stop playing instruments, I noticed I need 2 hands for all of my instruments! The only exception being my midi controller. So I thought to learn a 1 handed instrument and this rekindled my interest in the pipe and tabor. I contacted the Pipe and Tabor Society and ordered a 3 holed flute, a pennie whistle style flute to begin with. I eventually want to buy a Spanish 3 holed flute, but they are quite expensive, so I thought to start with something less expensive. I have some ideas to make my own, and this I might try to do this year.

I ordered the pennie whistle 3 holed flute from the Society, but it seems to have gotten lost in the post! I knew there  was delays due to the C.virus but there has been so many things “lost”. So I will have to wait a bit more to learn this instrument.

Because of the good weather I have been able to sit outside and let the sun do its magic on my shoulder. I have been reading various books on music… History of electronic music; Krautrock; Kraftwerk; Biography of Alan Lomax; Home Recording techniques….

As my shoulder improves I am able to play mandolin and Ney, so I have been trying to learn new melodies from the Border bagpipe repertoire, memorising the tunes and joining them together to form a set. I have been practising finger pick exercises on the guitar, learning D open tuning and Dagdad tuning…this has been a wish of mine for some time now.

Keep busy, pass your time creatively, enjoy your time.